In one Smart-sized swoop, Rinspeed has solved all of our problems with electric cars, cold pizza, and carpenters.
The Swiss concept automaker has released the first photos of its Dock+Go, a detachable, self-powered storage box that sticks on the back of an electric Smart ForTwo. In one instance, the Dock+Go is a second powertrain that extends the Smart's driving range with a rolling battery, hydrogen fuel cell, or better still, a gasoline engine. Instead of a stubby trailer, Rinspeed describes the Dock+Go as an add-on “pack” since it plugs directly into the car’s rear axle to drive the wheels.
Another proposed version involves an electric oven that turns the Smart into “the dream car of any pizza delivery driver,” Rinspeed says. Yet another “pack” is a complete toolbox for fashionable, environmentally-conscious contractors. A cooler full of 30-rack beers – not out of the question for the “beach or party pack” – would probably best help Smart’s sluggish sales in the US.
As an idea factory that imagines underwater Lotuses, iPhone-controlled racers, and elaborate train networks carrying electric cars, Rinspeed doesn’t talk about production capability. We have no idea how the Dock+Go attaches itself, nor can we say it’d be easy to disconnect a driveshaft or steer a six-wheeled car.
But the problems with lukewarm cheese pizzas and range anxiety are real and deserve solutions like the Dock+Go. And Rinspeed’s concepts, however far-fetched, are the best reasons to attend the annual Geneva Auto Show, where the company will show the Dock+Go on March 8.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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